If you’re active, you’re an athlete

via Daily Prompt: Athletic

Or so it says on the publicity for the sports medicine clinic I visit from time to time.

Personally, I like the inclusiveness of this statement. As someone who is now in the “older” category, who is not naturally physically gifted, and who does enjoy being physically active and has done a variety of sports and activities most of her life, I like to be included, and imagine that many others do as well.

Given the massive amount of data that demonstrates the benefits of physical activity throughout life, it makes enormous sense to have a very inclusive definition here. Want to reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis and dementia?  Exercise. Do you want to decrease your risk of falling and be able to live out your life independently, preferably in your own home? Exercise, including balance exercises and weightlifting.

Be physically active: Dance, walk, run, swim, hike, cycle, skate, ski, do yoga, garden, refinish furniture. Physical activity keeps your brain active as well. Not only does the increased circulation keep the brain well oxygenated, the challenge of learning and integrating new skills keeps your mind as well as your body supple.

Yes, many of us, when we think of athletes think of gloriously fit young people doing amazing feats of strength and skill. That is certainly athletic, and I enjoy their extraordinary feats of athleticism, too.

I challenge all of us to begin considering ourselves as athletes. Be active in whatever way you can. Try something new or different. Have fun, experiment, surprise yourself. Challenge yourself to do something that is a little out of your comfort zone, whether by doing a different activity, or doing something that you’re worried you won’t be “good” at. No one starts out an expert, and most “experts” have had more falls and fails than the rest of us.

Be active, be an athlete!

9 thoughts on “If you’re active, you’re an athlete

  1. I agree, I think it’s important to cultivate this attitude as it encourages one to take more responsibility for their wellbeing. People think of self maintenance as something that athletes do and that maybe they should, but don’t need to. But I think it’s important to be in touch with your body. As you said, almost all of us are active to some lesser or greater degree.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. You’re really turning me around Steph, not sure why the term athlete is one I’ve never felt worthy of and have reserved for a really select group of people. It’s such a positive term, and I think you’re right, i think it could be a really positive change if more people looked at themselves as athletes.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I can totally relate to this. For me, I struggle even with the term “runner” being applied to me. I feel like I need to qualify it somehow by saying well I’m a beginning Runner, I’m a slow Runner, I am still learning how to be a Runner, etc. But you’re totally right all of us who are out there doing active things are definitely athletes. Without any kind of qualifications tacked on!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Michelle, I absolutely agree that you are an athlete, and skipping the qualifications is a fine plan. Keep on moving! I am sooooo impressed by your progress and willingness to go on the very challenging journey you are on–not remotely easy, and you are doing it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Very encouraging post. All the strive to be active should consider themselves athletes. I have loved sports my whole life and as I get older my body is slowing down by I will never lose the heart of a competitor because I can a athlete. Thanks for your words! flightministries.com

    Liked by 1 person

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